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A look at the early life and times of jerry garcia

We need magic and bliss, and power and myth, and celebration and religion in our lives and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it.

Jerry Garcia

SPRING A wood chopping accident with his older brother at the Garcia family cabin causes Jerry to lose much of the middle finger on his right hand at the age of five. Jerry and Tiff move in with their maternal grandparents for a five-year stint. Jerry attends Monroe Elementary School, and is greatly encouraged in his artistic abilities by his third grade teacher. Through her, he discovers that being a creative person is a viable possibility in life.

It is during this time that Jerry picks up the five-string banjo.

Jerry Garcia: 10 Facts

He was a jazz musician. I just barely remember the sound of it. But I'm named after Jerome Kern, that's how seriously the bug bit my father. King, Hank Ballard, and Chuck Berry. Disappointed, he complains until the instrument is exchanged for an electric guitar and amplifier, and his stepfather soon introduces him to an open-tuning style. An Evening with Jerry Garcia.

Captain Trips: A Biography of Jerry Garcia

They marry later that same year. They play throughout the summer. It becomes a fixture on the local music scene—providing a venue for many free concerts throughout the year-and-a-half they live there. This leads to the Grateful Dead performing more free concerts than any other band in history.

  • Garcia stole his mother's car in 1960, and as punishment he was forced to join the United States Army;
  • In 1990, Irwin completed Rosebud, Garcia's fourth custom guitar.

Both members eventually rejoin the Grateful Dead, and the band is able to survive. Jerry continues as an official member of the band until November 1971. The band frequently opens for the Grateful Dead during this period.

Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia

Jerry first plays the guitar known as Alligator onstage. Vassar Clements would later replace Greene on fiddle. During the following year, the Grateful Dead would occasionally improvise the theme from Close Encounters in concert.

  • In 2013, surviving Dead members sang the national anthem before a game; fans went home that day with skeletal Uncle Sam bobbleheads;
  • And as an improvisational soloist, John Coltrane was one of his greatest personal and musical influences.

JULY 10 Jerry lapses into a near-fatal diabetic coma for five days, after which he has to relearn the guitar. Photo by Michael A. Memorials span the nation as people all over mourn his passing. Photo by Henry Diltz.